I’ve lost count the number of times we’ve visited Dublin Zoo over the past seven years with the kids, it really is one of my favourite days out with them. Between the playground, educational animal talks, Zoorassic World and Eco Explorers Trail it has something for every age. In recent months I’ve had requests to compile a post and share my Dublin Zoo tips, so here it is:
Dublin Zoo Tips
- During the Spring and Summer months there are daily talks, events and feeds at Dublin Zoo from 11am-3pm. From October – February these activities take place only on weekends.
- One of my top Dublin Zoo tips is that they have recently teamed up with their sustainability partner, SSE Airtricity and they have developed an Eco Explorers Trail. The Sustainability Trail has little stations dotted around the whole Zoo, teaching young and old about the importance of living sustainably. Simply download the free Eco Explorers interactive app on any tablet or smartphone upon entrance to the Zoo. The starting point is just to the left of the lake by the railings. You can read more about it here.
- Always book your tickets online. The queues to buy tickets can be miles lines, especially through the summer months. With pre-purchased tickets, you can pretty much walk straight in. You can either present your eTicket on your mobile or print it off.
- Dublin Zoo has not got a designated car park. However, there are lots of places to park around Phoenix Park. The Lords Walk carpark is located behind the Zoo, it’s where we normally park. Remember not to leave any valuables in your car as these carparks are not monitored and I have seen cars with broken windows on two occasions.
- Did you know Tesco Clubcard points can be converted into Dublin Zoo passes? Clubcard Boost members can trade €3 in Clubcard vouchers for a children’s pass or €4 in vouchers for an adult pass.
- Under 3’s go free in Dublin Zoo. There are also discounted rates for Senior Citizens and students.
- Dublin Zoo is accessible for people with disabilities. They have ten wheelchairs at their front gate. Also, visitors with special needs may admit one accompanying career free of charge when a special needs admission ticket. ID or relevant documentation is required.
- Scooters, bikes and skates are not permitted in Dublin Zoo.
- If you bring a reusable beaker there are plenty of refilling station around the Zoo to keep hydrated especially on warmer days.
- Emma from www.lifewithtinyhumans.com says ‘If you are going to go more than a couple of times a year the annual pass is well worth it. You can put a second designated person on your account, who will get their own pass. We share a full pass with friends of ours and split the cost. Alternatively, you can put grandparents or a aunts/uncles as your designated person.
- An annual Dublin Zoo passes costs €180, taking 10 working days to process and they are activated from the date of the process. But did you know Dublin Zoo annual passes also allow free admission into Fota Wildlife Park in Cork too? As well as Paignton Zoo, Twycross Zoo, Edinburgh Zoo and Colchester Zoo in the UK.
- When visiting the new Orangutans enclosure in Dublin Zoo be careful when they are crossing above your head. They’ve been known to pee and poo down on onlookers for the craic.
- Sinead from www.bumblesofrice.com says a keeper once told her ‘the big cats are more active during the week, they tend to get a big feed and be listless at the weekend’. So if your there to see the cats make sure you go midweek.
- Did you know Dublin Zoo have live webcams on the elephants, penguins, wolves and African savanna? You can watch them HERE.
- Attractions not to be missed in Dublin Zoo include the Wishing Chair at the Farm, a tradition for many families visiting the Zoo. Also, no visit is complete without checking out the new sea-lion or Orangutan enclosures. The Orangutans new home is inspired by their natural environment and if you’re lucky enough you will see them climb right above your head.
- Ellen from www.blushbellyandbabies.com has contributed to my Dublin Zoo tips post to recommend you go to Dublin Zoo on a dull day. She says ‘animals seek shelter in the heat. On a cooler day, they’ll be much more lively and easier to see’.
- While I cannot recommend the food in The Meerkat Restaurant (we’ve been refunded on two occasions) you can watch a family of Meerkats play behind a large glass window while eating your grub. On a cold day, we normally pack a picnic and buy a plate of chips to share and eat inside the restaurant to warm up. With buying the chips (and maybe a coffee) we’ve never been refused a seat. The kids get great entertainment watching the Meerkat run around.
- Dublin Zoo can be mental during peak times so it’s recommended to go first thing in the morning to avoid the queues. www.mindthebaby.com says ‘I either first thing in the morning so we’re leaving when the crowds start, or about 2 hours before closing for the same reason. We always get a space in the car park both ways too’.
- If you choose not to eat in the restaurant pop in anyways. Just inside the door is a large wall of cards in holders, Here you will find 10% discount cards for places like Aquazone and return trips to the Zoo. They are always handy to have especially through the summer.
- Zoorassic World is one for the Dinosaur fanatics, where all the reptiles live including a museum-quality skeleton of a T-Rex. From March to April there are daily talks at 12 pm and during winter you can catch them every Saturday and Sunday at the 12 pm also.
- If you are in receipt of social welfare payments you can get a reduced price ticket if you produce identification and a recent receipt from collecting your welfare payments in the post office. Ticket can only be bought at the ticket desk on the day.
- And finally, if you like a good coffee there’s a Costa right down the back of the African Plains near the giraffes. They have loads of picnic benches outside with umbrellas too. It the perfect spot to set up a picnic in warmer weather.
If you have anything to add to this Dublin Zoo Tips post get in touch via any of my social media channels. And if you would like more recommendations on days out check out my travel group for parents in Ireland or follow me on Instagram.